Fiction, Truth, and Banned Books Week

“Make Orwell Fiction Again” reads a tote bag on the Banned Books Week web site.

What writer does not support Banned Books Week? Here’s Marion Dane Bauer on the banning of her Newbery Honor-winning novel, On My Honor, and on censorship and its effects upon writers.

As the Banned Books Web web site puts it:

Everyone is entitled to express their opinions about a book, but they don’t have the right to limit another person’s access to information.

Still, what does Banned Books Week mean in 2019? For that matter, how come Orwell is so relevant in 2019?

giverMaybe that question can be answered by thinking about another iconic banned dystopian book: Lois Lowry’s The Giver. The book delivers its most shocking moment in Jonas’s realization about his father. It is the moment that sets the rest of the story in motion, and leads to the character’s assumption of a heroic role. Anyone concerned about power and its appropriation should read Lowry’s novels set in the world of The Giver, its concerns drawn from the essence of our own, flawed human souls.

Who are our heroes today? Our children, that’s who. Today, the world’s children are taking to the streets, betrayed by the grownups who have failed to save the planet. In the end, the children are more honest than the grownups who “continue to look away.”

As for making Orwell fiction again, maybe that’s not the point.

 

Oh No! It’s the Bright Orange Beastie

trumpWhat is a Trump anyway? Who in the last century would have imagined that we’d be pondering that troubling question in 2016, or that this brave new century would morph into The Age of Perpetual War?

As we head into the ominous storm of the first ever Reality TV Presidential Campaign (Oh no! Libba Bray, say it ain’t going to be a Reality TV Presidency!) here’s a humorist’s take on The Trump–in picture book form. Written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal.

Not for children, necessarily, or for the faint of heart.